recommendations for midi controller for my set up/situation
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  1. #1
    Tech Student
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default recommendations for midi controller for my set up/situation

    Hi all,
    A bit of background
    1) I am an idiot
    2) I have Traktor 2.5 registered version
    3) I have macbook pro 15" 8GB Ram
    4)I have Roland sp-555 sampler/drum machine
    5)cheap (and nasty) Behringer BCD 3000

    OK so I have a bit of gear and play around with traktor for years- I was a teacher and using dj gear with kids so in that situation I had access to a vestax vci-100 (which was great but I found it hard to scratch)
    Now I am not a teacher anymore but a digital developer (3D animation, special effects, film editing etc)
    part of this etc is music production (low rent- basically bedroom dj/producer)

    So, apart from the bcd-3000 my gear is pretty good, I am looking to get a midi controller that I can use for my current situation but which also at a stretch could play a live gig. I am very interested in scratching, but I don't know much about it, so will never become a turntablist..... but it is high on my list of things to do with a new midi controller...
    So S4? Better for scratching, but I already own traktor 2.5 so wasted money
    or VCI-400? better built, more customisable, but I really want the better S4 jog performance

    And also with either of the above 2 controllers can I mod/map/hack my roland sp-555 to trigger the remix decks?
    I only can map the top 4 slots at the moment- will it be possible to do more in the future?

    I am getting old guys (turned 40 this year so basically dead) so I only have one shot at buying a $900 controller..
    What are your thoughts..

  2. #2
    Tech Mentor Fraktionz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada


    If you did get the s4 , acquring a second copy of traktor wouldn't be a complete was of money necessary, have seen a few members on this forum alone who want to buy the serial number for $50.

    S4 vs VCI 400 very popular question. Personally I lean towards the VCI-400 as it does seem more versatile for controllerist needs, also I think it will hold up build wise greater then the S4, since you say this is your one shot at buying a controller.

    Though if you do ever get serious in scratching which it doesn't seem like but in case, the S4 would be nice because of the traktor certification making it cheaper in the future to upgrade to traktor scratch and plug a turntable in.

  3. #3


    If you have any experience with vinyl... It's really much better for scratching, so look into control vinyl.

    As you said, it's not possible to control the remix decks currently. It will become possible, probably because of the community,because fuck Native Instruments..., you'd just need a midi-usb converter to use your sp-555.

    What you buy really should depend on what you want to do. gigs, parties, bedroom, whatev. It also depends on what you want to control: Loops, cue juggling, insta-effects, etc. or maybe a more traditional thing.

    I advise everyone against the S4 and S2, unless you really don't have any interest in ever custom mapping anything. Otherwise there are far better controllers, far cheaper. Behringer is about to come out with a modular line. If you put together the four-deck mixer unit, two switchable deck units and a sound card, it will be the equivalent of the S4, except WAY better. It has more controls to map, you can map it without losing the HD jogwheels/ptchfader (you cannot with the S2/s4), and it's about $300-$400 cheaper.

  4. #4
    Tech Guru squidot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Las Vegas


    i had the same decision to make but i landed on the vci-400 ege and i'm very, very happy with my choice. it is definitely built better and wins as far as custom mappings are concerned. like faderswagger said: if you want the hid response for scratching you cannot alter the mapping of the s4 or you lose that level of control on the jog wheels and the tempo faders, so you better like the way it works out of the box.

    personally, i don't think many people into scratching will take you seriously if you aren't doing it on turntables (or maybe cd decks with spinning platters like the denons) just be ready for people to hate on you or mock you for using an s4 to scratch. i've even seen people on here rag on james zabiela for using a controller to scratch instead of pio cdjs (which to me i don't see a difference, really). i'm of the school of thought that i don't really care about the origin as long as it sounds good, but many others don't feel the same so be ready.

    if it's something you just want to play with you will have to weigh the cons of wanting that one thing in a controller against the limitations and build quality of the s4. good luck!
    tsp 2.5 | vci-400 ege | mfspectra | kontrol x1s | rokit 8s (ferrari grey) | krk 10 sub | audio 8
    hp dv6 - i5 - 8gb | maschine | mpk49 | apc40 | rokit 5s | technics sl-1200mk3ds | cdj100s
    thread of free music

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